Sage Karam returns to Pocono for the first time since the fatal accident

Sage Karam planned to keep it simple. This week I just ride my bike on the first turn of the Pocono Raceway. No fan is wondering how he feels when he returns to his home truck, with no reporters asking questions on a simple outing.

Seven years ago, Column caused a wreck with three oval trucks. IndyCar Driver Justin Wilson And as he sank the column deep into depression, he suspected he would compete again.On his last visit to the truck, his friend Robert Wickens was paralyzed In another IndyCar accident.

Pocono is reminiscent of the tragic memory of 27-year-old Karam. He wanted to remember alone, but he also thought about his own challenging journey.

“I took the time I needed before I could get there properly,” Column said. “I don’t think I would have been ready if I had had the opportunity to race there before. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it. I hurt myself or hurt others. I don’t want to. I feel like I’ve matured and went there and now I can do that. “

Karam was IndyCar’s rising star and was considered a potential face in the series when the seemingly simple spin that led the race in August 2015 shot his car into the wall. Wilson was struck by debris from a column car that bounced off the surface of the raceway. A 37-year-old British driver died a day later at a nearby hospital.

Karam was 20 years old and was blamed for an unusual accident. The guilty column ran around his house with a moped. He couldn’t sleep or eat and soon lost his drive to Chip Ganassi.

Not only was he unable to shake the dead, but Karam’s career never reached the height expected after the race. He made a sporadic start with IndyCar and took part in rallycross and sports car races. He finally landed on NASCAR in 2021 and raced in the Xfinity and Truck series. He will start his fifth season in NASCAR’s second-tier series race on Saturday in Pocono.

It’s still his hometown truck. Nazareth, Pennsylvania, who now lives with his wife in nearby Easton, is preparing for an emotional return. And he has a backup.

“Anyone around me who needs it will be there,” Karam said. “Everyone who has been my biggest support group in the last seven years is in our backyard and will be competing in this race.”

His father, Jody, helped Sage reunite with a sport psychologist and rewound sports with a former high school wrestler as a coach. Karam was finally able to find the right marketing agency to offer emotional comfort and ride NASCAR at AlphaPrime Racing.

“My son took too much responsibility for the accident,” said Jody Karam. “He caused a lot of pain and blame himself. I admire how he matured and got over it. He didn’t do it alone.”

Slowly, Karam arranged his life.

“What I’ve noticed is that what we’re doing is a very dangerous sport,” he said. “It was strange. A complete accident. I just realized it. When you were young, you didn’t immediately notice them. You realized that there was nothing you could do. Is not.”

Karam will race on the indie road course later this month, but the rest of NASCAR’s schedule is undecided. Karam knows that scouting reports on full-time travel to stock cars are tough: Danica Patrick, Dario Franchitti, and Sam Hornish Jr. haven’t been able to achieve steady bump success over the last 25 years. One of the winners of the open wheel-and-running the world of NASCAR.

Born to race on open wheels, Karam said the transition from indycars to stock cars was “not as big as it sounds.” But be careful with this. Karam had only 25 career starts at IndyCar, and six solo starts each season was the Indianapolis 500 (he finished 23rd in May). Karam made his career’s best 12 starts in 2015 and never received a serious offer for a full-time ride again.

“There is nothing better than driving an IndyCar,” said Column. “IndyCar Speed, IndyCar Grip. Every May I go to the Speedway and get there, I come in and always take off my helmet and look at my wife. Indianapolis Motor Speedway There’s nothing close to the feeling of driving an IndyCar around. But what I like about NASCAR’s is just the actual racing aspect of it. I’m really aggressive, its style. I enjoy racing. It’s more pure. It’s not that much technology. There are no buttons or anything. “

The Alpha Prime team, owned by Tommy Joe Martins, has driven many drivers this season, from Karam to Kaz Glara to Raja Kars. After a massive turmoil with Xfinity driver Noah Gragson in Road America, Karam was dragged into NASCAR’s rivalry swamp. NASCAR fined Gragson $ 35,000 last month for deliberately destroying the column.

Karam enjoys stock cars a lot, he says now he wants to race in the Cup Series.

“The number one goal of my life is to win the Indianapolis 500,” he said. “But my focus has completely shifted to stock cars.”

Karam was inspired by the patience of his father. Jody Karam, a wrestling coach at Easton High School, suddenly developed a knack for saving his life. His assistant wrestling coach collapsed in April during a skipping rope training and held his breath.

“He’s lying there and dead. No pulse, nothing,” Jody said. “I started giving him CPR for 4-5 minutes. He started breathing again just as the first responders arrived at the scene.”

He may save one life and save another. Jody is set to donate kidneys to help Sage’s kart-era friends and early champions who helped fund his early racing career. Jody Column, who did not name the man for privacy reasons, must be processed within two months.

His son celebrated his first anniversary of marriage with his wife Abbey on Saturday. This relationship once named itself SK $, had a “prom” at IMS, and stabilized a young man who was the target of easy mischief within IMS by veteran teammates. .. Karam met his future wife, a kindergarten teacher, in the years following the 2015 accident.

“She saw the aftermath of what happened and what I was dealing with,” he said. “She saw the growth and positive aspects that came from me growing and maturing. Recently, I’ve become more open to talking about it, and she’s those I did. I was around for a conversation. If I didn’t meet when I met, I wouldn’t know where I was. “

She was a shoulder leaning on the column needed to penetrate.

Karam met Wilson’s young daughters and remained friendly with the late driver’s brother, IndyCar driver Stephen Wilson, all of whom helped him forgive.

Karam has long reconciled with the truck and said he needed to conquer Pocono to really move forward from that terrible weekend. At last he got the chance.

“I’m ready to close the driving chapter at that location again,” Column said. “I feel that it’s a big part of the process for me and I’ll be able to drive it again. I’m turning 1 at full speed. I want to make good memories there. And that’s the beginning. I feel. “


Other AP Auto Racing: https: // and